MEET THE TEAM

Each individual on The Blanchard Institute’s recovery team is extremely passionate about the work we do. Everyone brings with them their own unique set of skills and experience, and together, we form an unstoppable team that’s dedicated to helping our patients.

We look forward to being a part of your recovery journey.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Ward Blanchard, MA, MBA, CCS, LCAS – Founder/CEO

Ward Blanchard, MA, MBA, CCS, LCAS FOUNDER & CEO

Ward has become one of the most prominent mental health and Substance Use Disorder professionals in the country for his innovative work with clients and their family systems.

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Allison Christie, MBA, CADC-I, CAI-I, CPSS Chief Administrative Officer

Allison was instrumental in the establishment of The Blanchard Institute in early 2016 and continues to lead the team as the Chief Administrative Officer.

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Judy Goodwin COMMUNITY RELATIONS director

Judy Goodwin brings 24 years of knowledge and experience working as an Admissions Coordinator in the field and is well connected to the community and behavioral health industry.

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erica baskin Outreach Development Representative

Erica brings an authentic and relationship-based approach to Business Development, and is excited to continue helping others in a more local outpatient setting.

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CLINICAL TEAM

MARY URBAN, MSN, PMHNP-BC, APRN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Mary serves our patients using an empathetic and client-focused approach to allow for the highest level of care. She is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in the treatment of substance abuse, trauma, ADHD and anxiety and mood disorders.

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Stacey Surratt clinical manager

STACEY SURRATT, MS, MT-BC, LCAS, CSI CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Stacey works from a relationship-based approach and enjoys incorporating creativity and multi-sensory tools into therapy sessions as a way to fully engage and retain growth from participation in the treatment process.

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Samanda Stevenson | Clinical Assistant at The Blanchard Institute

SAMANdA STEVENSON, MA, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A, CTP LEAD PRIMARY THERAPIST

Samanda’s awareness of the intersection between substance abuse and mental health with the criminal justice system inspired her to pursue a career in addiction counseling.

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RALPH MEACHUM, MDIV, CADC LEAD THERAPIST

Ralph brings a passion for helping others with a focus on re-aligning and supporting healthy family systems. Ralph completed his master’s degree in Divinity with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Emory University

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Blake Floyd | Recovery Technician at The Blanchard Institute

Blake Floyd, CADC-I PROGRAM MANAGER

Blake feels he has found his true calling in the field of substance use and co-occurring disorders and through his own journey has become drawn to helping others.

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Annie Morse, CADC-I PRIMARY THERAPIST

Annie has a passion to help others around her, specifically in the field of Mental Health, and helps the team maintain the high standards of compliance required of their Joint Commission Accreditation.

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Thea wooten, M.A., lcas PRIMARY THERAPIST

Before joining the team, Thea worked in a medicine assisted treatment program as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist for 5 years, where she developed her passion for working in addictions. 

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cassandra gordon, lcsw-a, cadc PRIMARY THERAPIST

Cassandra utilizes a strengths-based approach, often including aspects of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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amy conner, ms, lcmhc-a PRIMARY THERAPIST

Amy has a passion for working with and advocating for individuals with substance use disorders along with individuals in the first responder community.

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Alexis Walters admissions coordinator

ALEXIS WALTERS, ma, lmft-a clinical assistant & assessor

Alexis grew up in Southern California before making her move to North Carolina. Alexis earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

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Emily Nelson, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A, CADC-I PRIMARY ASSESSOR

Emily’s passion to help those struggling with the disease of addiction and mental health comes through her own interest in the field, as well as her own journey to recovery.

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Brittany Bolden, LMFT-A, LCAS-A, CADC-I, NCC MULTI-FAMILY GROUP THERAPIST

Brittany is currently working on her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Capella University.

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gabrielle milando, lcmhc-A, ncc CLINICAL ASSISTANT

Gabrielle has a passion for working with individuals with substance use disorders. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 2020 with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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alyssa sherrin, bsw CLINICAL ASSISTANT

Alyssa has a passion to help people struggling with the disease of addiction and other mental health disorders, and to break the social stigma surrounding them.

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Stacey “Grace” Cruz,  MA, LCMHC, LCAS, EMDR-C EMDR Therapist

Grace is passionate about using evidenced-based treatments, as she believes this gives clients the best opportunities for healing and growth in the most efficient manner possible.

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shelley goodpastor RECOVERY CONNECTOR

Shelley has a passion for providing hope to individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders.  She is currently pursuing her CADC-I.  Shelley is very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team. 

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Corrie Thomas, MS, RD, LD/N Nutritionist

Corrie has seen first hand the importance of nutrition as a key component to recovery, and enjoys working with clients and simplifying nutrition for their individual needs.

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ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Mika Rhodes office administrator

MIKA RHODES, OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

As the Office Administrator and first point of contact, Mika’s goal is to remain grounded and be that safe landing place as our clients take those brave first steps toward a new way of living/being.

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Jennifer Wolfe office administrator

JENNIFER WOLFE, CADC-I OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR & PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Jennifer has a strong desire to help those in need and is passionate about leaving an impact on those around her. She understands the impact of recovery and success people have once they break through the cycle of addiction.

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SALLY LUCAS, OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Sally graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned her Elementary Education Teacher Licensure from the University of Richmond.Through family members in recovery, she found compassion towards our mission.

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KELLY CARRIGAN MEDICAL SCHEDULER

Kelly has found her passion and purpose in helping others to discover the possibilities of a life in recovery. As an alumna of The Blanchard Institute, she believes fully in the mission of TBI, and she has a strong desire to give back and pay it forward.

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ADMISSIONS TEAM

Darin Williamson | HR Coordinator at The Blanchard Institute

DARIN WILLIAMSON, CPSS ADMISSIONS COORDINATOR

Dedicated to lifting others up, Darin looks forward to building a stronger community based on recovery and helping to erase the social stigmas of addiction.

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Shelley Wood, BA Admissions Coordinator

Shelley lends understanding and compassion as clients begin their search for the treatment center where they’ll begin their journey to recovery.

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Karen Mittler admissions coordinator

KAREN MITTLER, Admissions Coordinator

Karen was excited to join the behavioral health field, after a decade in health care administration. She enjoys bringing the human touch to a seemingly overwhelming and impersonal process.

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TIA GRIFFIN, Admissions Coordinator

Tia has 7 yrs of experience in related medical fields from administrative to providing patient care. She is most excited to return to a role where she feels connected and grounded in her purpose.

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FINANCIAL TEAM

Angela Opalak

ANGELA OPALAK, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Angela Opalak has over two decades of experience providing skillful leadership, direction and solutions for all aspects of healthcare practice management. She was an integral part in assisting in the launch of The Blanchard Institute in 2017…

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Bill Boyle

BILL BOYLE, FINANCE DIRECTOR

Bill Boyle is from Northern Virginia and has been working the behavioral health field since 2017. He obtained his Masters of Accounting degree from George Mason University.

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Monique Varnadore REVENUE CYCLE SPECIALIST

Monique holds a Medical Billing and Coding Certification with over 6 years of Revenue Cycle billing Experience.

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Jennifer Cassidy | Revenue Cycle Specialist at The Blanchard Institute

JENNIFER CASSIDY, BA, MAS REVENUE CYCLE SPECIALIST

Jenny brings over 7 years of extensive revenue cycle billing and insurance collections experience with her to the TBI team.

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ryan farrior REVENUE CYCLE SPECIALIST

Ryan is eager to help those around him which is shown in his passionate clinical background with work in residential treatment.

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EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

Gibbs TOur & Therapy Dog

Gibbs was drawn into the field of substance abuse and behavioral health after her own personal recovery from a process addiction with chewing shoes and furniture.

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Blanchard Client Care Team